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Philippines says militants control 20 percent of besieged city
June 13, 2017 / 3:30 AM / 3 months ago

Philippines says militants control 20 percent of besieged city

Philippine National Police Special Action Force personnel man a checkpoint in Marawi city, as government troops continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, in Philippines June 10, 2017. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines military said on Tuesday that Islamist militants hold 20 percent of the Marawi City, disputing an earlier claim by Islamic State’s news agency Amaq that its “fighters are spread in more than two-thirds” of the southern town.

“On the contrary, out of 96 barangays (neighbourhoods), they are holding portions in Marinaut, Lulut, Mapandi and Bongolo Commercial District, which only comprise 20 percent of the whole Marawi City ... and its getting smaller everyday,” Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, head of military command in the region, told Reuters.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said on June 5 that the militants occupied less than 10 percent of the city, which they had tried to overrun in an attack on May 23.

Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Writing by Karen Lema; Editing by John Chalmers

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